SC lawmakers wrapping up work on state budget

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina lawmakers are expected to wrap up work this week on a $5.8 billion spending plan.

The Senate on Tuesday will debate a budget bill for the fiscal year that begins July 1 that's patched together by spending cuts and growing revenue from an improving economy and a cigarette tax increase approved a year ago.

Legislators had faced a deficit of around $700 million. But much of that was tied to federal budget bailout money that legislators told agencies wouldn't be replaced.

Meanwhile, the state's Medicaid agency had a $635 million shortfall.

The Department of Health and Human Services and legislators narrowed the shortfall with $157 million from higher cigarette tax collections and $200 million in cost cutting measures to deal with more than half of that shortfall.

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